Michigan governor says COVID-19 infections could be dropping

In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Lansing, Mich. The governor provided an update on COVID-19 cases, vaccines and variants and discussed the state's efforts to expand the use of monoclonal antibody therapy to help those diagnosed with COVID-19 avoid hospitalization. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP) (Uncredited, AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS PUBLICLY DISTRIBUTED HANDOUT PHOTO PROVIDED BY MICHIGAN OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR; MANDATORY CREDIT. A JAN. 13, 2021 PHOTO)

LANSING, Mich. – After leading the nation’s COVID-19 daily case rate for weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that Michigan could be seeing a drop in infections.

Whitmer has extended a pandemic order that limits business capacity and requires masks in public, but the Democrat has avoided further restrictions in place during previous surges, including suspending indoor restaurant dining. Instead, she's urged a voluntary pause on the activities and pushed for more vaccinations from the White House, which has said it would help with other logistics but continue allocating based on population.

“We are starting to see, you know, the beginning of what could be a slowdown, which is welcome,” Whitmer told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But what also is welcome is we’ve gotten a lot of help from the Biden administration to surge some therapeutics here, get some boots on the ground, and I think all of these things are really going to be important to us stemming the tide of what we’re seeing.”

She didn't discuss specific data and Michigan doesn't release coronavirus-related data on Sundays. Health officials said Friday that the seven-day average positivity rate had dropped in recent days to 17.1%, but remained above a December peak of 14.4%.

Michigan has reported more than 785,000 COVID-19 cases and logged more than 16,800 deaths. The state says nearly 30% of Michigan residents ages 16 and older have been fully vaccinated.

Related: Michigan governor responds to critics who say she changed her position on following science during pandemic